Focus Wales returns to sunny Wrexham this week, maintaining their reputation as the low-key best showcase festival in the country. That’s right, forget your Great Escapes and your Sound Cities, north east Wales is the place to be to find the best new bands around. Here’s our list of ten bands not to miss.
Ani Glass, Ty Pawb, Thu 16 May 22:00
Ani Glass, formerly of the Pipettes, is the persona of Cardiff-based electronic pop musician, producer, artist and photographer, Ani Saunders. Glass makes affecting electronic pop sung in her native languages Welsh and Cornish. Her debut album is due soon so don’t miss out on seeing her in a small venue while you have the chance.
BC Camplight, Undegun, Thu 16 May 22:20
BC Camplight is originally from New Jersey but relocated to Philadelphia to find himself signed to One Little Indian and playing gigs with the likes of the War on Drugs and Sharon Van Etten. These days he lives in Manchester and is touring 2018’s acclaimed Deportation Blues LP.
The Lovely Eggs Memorial Hall Thu 16 May 23:15
The Lovely Eggs make “underground DIY surreal-psych punk rock”. Their latest album This is Eggland was produced by Dave Fridmann of Flaming Lips and Tame Impala production fame and boasts five star reviews from national press.
Islet, Ty Pawb, Fri 17 May 21:30
Anyone who saw Islet‘s Focus Wales show a couple of years ago will tell you this is not to be missed. The band has no lead singer or set roles, switching instruments from song to song. If it’s high energy psychedelic noise pop you’re after, Ty Pawb is the place to be.
Snapped Ankles, Undegun, Fri 17 May 22:20
Speaking of psychedelic noise pop, Snapped Ankles do it with synths made from logs. Equally at home playing gigs in squat parties and barber shops, this is the perfect follow up for Islet’s set.
Peaness, Ty Pawb, Sat 18 May 19:30
Chester indie pop trio Peaness‘ name might make you blush but their songs will make you swoon. Following their EP compilation Are You Sure their debut album proper is being eagerly awaited, so keep an ear out for new material.
The Beths, Ty Pawb, Sat 18 May 20:30
New Zealand four-piece the Beths are one of the most talked about indie pop bands around following their brilliant album Future Me Hates Me, mining the same kind of instant classic songwriting as fellow antipodean Courtney Barnett. High praise indeed.
Chroma, Saith Seren, Sat 18 May 21:50
Chroma cite influences like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Gossip and have recently released a single on the stellar Popty Ping Records, which is enough to know they’re ones to watch.
Kero Kero Bonito, Memorial Hall, Sat 18 May 22:30
Kero Kero Bonito are promising this tour will be their most raucous yet having rearranged their songs for a full live band, ranging from chipper Casiotone melancholy to pop-punk noise chaos.
Audiobooks, Undegun, Sat 18 May 23:40
Audiobooks‘ press blurb reckons they “have developed a unique ability to conjure up magical aural snapshots that wallop you like bong hits” and if that isn’t enough to make you go and watch them then I don’t know what is. There’s not really much that can be added to that.